Meal Prep For Beginners
If you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply just get healthier, it can be a challenge to ensure that you are eating healthy, nutritious meals with everything else you have going on in your life. If you do not plan ahead, you will likely end up cooking quick, unhealthy meals or going out to eat and spending unnecessary money on food. One solution that millions of Americans are turning to is meal prep. Here are four tips you need to start your meal prep and stick to it.
1. Pick a Day
Doing meal prep requires a bit more work on one or two days, so that you do not have to do hardly any work the other days of the week. Many meal preppers like to meal prep on Sundays and Wednesdays, so all the cooking is split up between two days, and the prepared food does not have to sit in the fridge for more than a couple days. Choose a day or two that works best for you, and plan to do your shopping and cooking on that day. If you want to ease into it, try just prepping meals for three days a week, then gradually work your way up to all seven.
2. Buy the Right Containers
The one factor that can make or break many people’s meal prep is the containers they use. So, what makes a good container? First and foremost, you need to look for containers that are BPA free (BPA is an industrial chemical used in some plastics that can interfere with your body’s hormones). Secondly, you should look for containers that allow you to divide each part of your meal to keep each part fresh. Additionally, it is very beneficial to have containers that have a clear top so you can easily see what is inside, and one that are the same size so you can stack them in your fridge.
3. Start With One Meal
One of the biggest mistakes you can make during your meal prep is to try to overhaul your entire current routine and prep every single meal for the entire week. If you do this from day one, you will quickly burn out. Instead, start with just one meal you want to prep. We recommend choosing the one that is the hardest to make healthy in the moment. For some people who work at the office, that may be lunch. For those who work very early hours, that might be breakfast! And those who are simply too exhausted at the end of the day to prepare anything should choose dinner.
4. Keep the Meals Simple
At least while you are starting out, choose meals to prep that are simple and easy to put together. Remember that not every meal has to be “Pinterest worthy”. Buy a bag of chicken breasts at the store, several types of veggies, rice, and pasta, and you can make multiple types of meals with just those simple ingredients. Be sure to use spices in your cabinet and healthy, homemade sauces (Greek yogurt ranch, marinara, vinaigrettes) to make your meals flavorful and enticing.